Hungama has a new corporate website, a new logo that reflects a single brand, and most importantly, Virtual Marketing (India) Pvt Ltd is now Hungama Digital Media Entertainment Pvt Ltd. We’re not sure if VMIL has been renamed, or if a new company has been formed.
Keep in mind that Rakesh Jhunjunwala, one of India’s best known stock market investors, is believed to be a key shareholder in Hungama (details here). ICICI Venture was an investor in Hungama a few years ago, but the company isn’t listed in their portfolio now. Another report had claimed, around a year ago, that Reliance Capital has investments in Hungama. Investors do need an exit, don’t they? HDMEL’s core team consists of Neeraj Roy, Saleem Mobhani, Siddhartha Roy and Kaushik Mukherji.
Our Take: Of all their properties, we believe two are key to Hungama:
— Bollywood Hungama (formerly IndiaFM), which had been acquired from Saleem and Suleman Mobhani. Saleem Mobhani is the COO for Hungama Mobile. This was a key event, which gave Hungama, essentially a digital marketing company, access to Bollywood and Bollywood content.
— Hungama Mobile – their Bollywood content distribution business, much of which (allegedly) relies on hefty pay-outs to T-Series. We’ve heard that the tables have turned, though. How much T-Series gets as a minimum guarantee from Hungama, and whether Hungama will survive without T-Series has been the subject of many a conversation in the industry. They had tied up with T-Series in 2005, and bagged the Eros account earlier last year.
So Bollywood Hungama gets the content via their connections, and the mobile business monetizes it. Interestingly, Hungama claims it became profitable in 2003…but we wonder if that changed in 2005 after the T-Series tie-up.
The Hungama DRHP will be most interesting, if and when it is filed. Don’t hold your breath, though – this isn’t an IPO market by any stretch of the imagination.